Mamapumpkin???

I love green Once upon a time, she designed buildings and interiors of corporate offices and on the rare occasion, homes. Now, she cleans poop and is student of a patience management course. From the drawing board as a London Architect to the realities of Motherhood, she has certainly learned many lessons in humility. And then others.....

To succeed in the corporate world, first succeed with your kid as the happy boss. Seriously.

I love green

This blog is about Mamapumpkin: A crazy, kick-ass Mom who works full time juggling several jobs - the full-time paid job, the raising of her 2 kids (she gets paid in kind for this) and the volunteering job for various charity organisations and parenting websites. Needless to say, she gets very little sleep (3-5 hours per day, Margaret Thatcher who used to sleep 4 hours per day during her conservative career inspires this crazy lifestyle).

Mamapumpkin intends to change the working Mom landscape in Malaysia where working women can bring their children to the corporate office of a client and not be frowned upon.

I love green

She writes anything that comes out of her head, mostly without thinking first (since she already has to think at work!), which almost ALWAYS gets her into trouble (according to her husband, whom she considers the love of her life on a good day).

Her 2 pet monkeys drive her towards challenge after challenge, 24/7.....day after day.....and interestingly, her parents are Muslim, her in-laws Buddhist, she's Catholic and her Hubs, an Atheist. She's thinking her kids should be Hindu, just to complete the rainbow religion cycle.

Gotta love it.

She'd love to hear from you : Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com


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Barbie in Malaysia

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! For 10 years I have had 2 girls and have always resisted Barbie but now that T2 is turning 5 in a week, she is asking for everything BARBIE!!!! I kid you not. The heave in my heart is heavy, my eyeballs are bulging, my mouth opened in shock and my brain spinning a million why’s…………….Barbie in Malaysia, yo! Barbie in Kebaya?

She has not asked for Barbie at all but since she is having a little party (her first ever birthday party, mind you), she has been asked about 10 times now what she would like for her birthday and she has responded with ANYTHING SMALL AND PINK, or ANYTHING BARBIE. So I said, what if you get a dozen Barbie dolls????????????

She said, “NOOOOOoooooooo………I don’t want Barbie dolls!!! I want anything BARBIE!!!! Like the Barbie House, or the Barbie laptop, Barbie car, Barbie Lego…….not Barbie dolls!!!”

*TRIPLE FAINT*

Anyway, my treat to her this year is that she will get to meet Barbie in Malaysia. Yes, the REAL BARBIE. Didn’t you know? Barbie is coming to Malaysia soon in August. She’s going to be at Mid Valley or One Utama on different days (details later). But can you imagine T2 meeting THE real Barbie???

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!! She’d be THRILLED!!!!

And my eyeballs are rolling over at 5000 kmph. Are you sure you’re my daughter, my darling T2??? Because I love you so much, I will succumb to your love for Barbie.

It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase……

Barbie in Malaysia. I asked T2, what about your baby dolls??? Don’t you like your baby dolls? They are so cute and so precious! 

“No, Mama. I’m a big girl now. I’m 5 years old and big girls play with Barbie not baby dolls. I don’t like the baby doll’s eyebrows anymore……..”

O_o

 

Homeschooling Malaysian Style

This year I got very brave upon the blessings of a dear friend and ventured towards Homeschooling my girls Malaysian Style. What does that mean really? Honestly, in the past 7 months, our homeschooling journey has evolved so much that this year, 2014, must be one of our most interesting years ever. Ever!!!

We started off the year Homeschooling Malaysian Style by having a set timetable of working seriously 3-5 hours a day replicating the school syllabus and time table but at home. This lasted all of almost 2 months with a lot of extra-curricular activities made possible with all the extra time. Then the next few months were spent on a downward spiral dwindling into nothingness because I really couldn’t arsed to monitor my kids progress. Seriously, who has the time. I actually have a real job in the real world, thank you very much. That pays real money too, thank God!!!

Though we did less school stuff, the girls got to play a lot, swim a lot and just do whatever they felt like doing every day. Simple life pleasures. I remember T1 baking a lot and well, they just had to get creative by themselves because they were just bored of being bored!

Then we went for our 1 month traveling expedition which was really all part of our homeschooling intention. Actually our round the world travel will be an ongoing homeschooling mission until the day we can no longer afford to go anywhere. Travel is THE best education. I kid you not. You do not need a lot of money seriously. Even going to Rawang, you will find plenty to do, plenty to see, plenty to learn, if you allow yourself to. Our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey will also include our internal travel in Malaysia adventures for sure. We aspire to sell Malaysia really well to the world as we believe we have so much to offer here in our BEAUTIFUL country!!!

After Europe, our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey suddenly picked up with a variety of activities shared with other like minded families and it just got richer and richer and T1 started falling in love with Homeschooling. She had found a group of friends, good buddies both boys and girls, that she could relate to. They were older by a year or two, but she clicked with them just great. They have since together performed experiments together, presented to each other their ideas, performed debates, gone on field trips, definitely an interesting ride this past few weeks so much so that T1 dropped the bomb on me this morning…….

She said she wanted to Home school indefinitely instead of going back to school. This was after begging me for the last 4 months to send her back to school. The Hubs had already budgeted a ridiculous sum of money to send both kids back to school next year due to the double year that the school is having as they are transitioning from the Malaysian school calendar to the British school calendar so 2 annual school fees in a year. I cannot express my facial expressions regarding this and question all the time if sending them back to school is a good idea. The return on investment just seems uncertain but the Hubs believes that the girls, HIS girls deserve the best in education and he believes that the school can give them a good all rounded challenging yet enjoyable school life, which is what he had. Actually, I had a bloody good time at school too. And we are fortunate to be able to afford it.

I cannot help wondering though that Homeschooling Malaysian Style might just be the way to go now that we’ve found our footing with the Homeschooling community in Malaysia. They are such fabulous people. The ones I have met anyway. Always inspiring, ever helpful and forever encouraging. Actually the kind of qualities that I would like my girls to inculcate.

SO I had a seriously long chat with my 9 year old daughter who is now doing Year 6 Math (her same class at school now are all doing Year 6 work anyway, they are just a year or two older) and she’s also done a Cambridge Year 7 paper (that’s Secondary School Form 1!!!) and scored 100% on it; so you can see the maturity and capability of this young girl who is able to perhaps assess her options and make some serious decisions. Maybe?

She says she would want to do her iGCSEs and go to University but for now wants to Home school but I told her that in order to do that, I might need to hire her individual private tutors to see her through the exams in a few years time and that would cost much more than school. Double!! Right now, she has private tutors for her languages and it is already costing close to her school fees and it’s only for an hour a week. CRAZINESS. But well worth it. She is learning a lot and most importantly keeping up with the real school pace and yet gets to party outside of school. I do keep asking myself though, is it necessary? What for? Can she just learn anything at her own pace and/or do nothing?

But knowing how lazy she is, I don’t think she’d get very far with disciplining herself to get any real work done if she is planning to take the iGCSEs. She’s a lot like me. I’m the laziest ass on the block. Study? Puhleeeeeeeeze. I always just did the minimum required and had the best time. If I had been Homeschooled Malaysian Style, perhaps my interest would have been captured but seriously, how much of what I learnt at school is now applicable to my life? I am not very clever but I am considered relatively successful due to pure luck. No connections, just sincerity and hard work. Anyone can do it and you don’t need school, just a passion for whatever you do. So is school necessary?

To get them out of my hair? Yes. The real education that will bring them to the level that they desire to make a lifelong living? I really do not have the answer. School or no school? Home school or not? At school, you have the dynamics of daily school life that involve many personalities and characters, you inculcate discipline and are forced to practise your manners daily, you have to interact and communicate with everyone daily which offers a lot of practice, you have large scale team activities such as the many performances that the school produces and projects that they get involved with, it is a lot of fun but so structured and of course, there are the damned exams and the not so creative teachers.

Homeschooling Malaysian Style? Freedom to do whatever the hell you want. Having loads of fun learning in the most creative ways which makes for more meaningful learning, lots more time to absorb important things, self governance, but it takes effort for the parent to expose new things to the child. I don’t have that kind of energy…..

Alas, I will get back to you after praying about it. Homeschooling Malaysian Style. Loving it.

The Girl who is SO Loved

Many people who see our little family now always assume that Daddy has a favourite and that his favourite girl is T2. Little do they know though that as much as everyone thinks that T2 is the spoilt darling daughter, T1 has had ALL our attention for an entire 5 years. She was given a hundred times more in every way, much, much more than her little sister. In fact, Daddy used to rock her for 3 straight hours when she was a baby right up to when she was a toddler every time Mama had to go out. She had an iron will and would cry REALLY LOUD NON STOP, one of the reasons why Daddy is slightly deaf today. He really loves his T1. I know he does, so, so much.

We love T2 too, of course. And they are so, so different, my two girls. They both have wonderful characteristics and eccentric personalities, they’re both fun and cheerful yet can get temperamental like any woman, they love with passion and gosh, I do love them with my entire heart, soul and body. And so does Daddy. In fact, he loves us three. And we love him.

If anything, I am comforted that there is just so much love in our little family that we will always be able to count on one another, even with their little spats between them. I stress to them all the time, that they are sisters forever and will have to take care of each other when Mama and Dada are no longer here. It is their responsibility, their legacy, their MUST DO. And they have already promised me that they will, despite the fights. I have told them that they will always have each other and must always be there for one another hence one of the reasons why I insist they share a room. There’s nothing like being sisters, something I never had the chance to have but I now have friends as my true sisters. Where borders are crossed and trust is infinite. It’s different with brothers…….though of course, I love my brothers with my life.

So yeah, T1 is so, so, SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOVED. She’s such a lucky, LUCKY girl.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Of course, a trip to Paris would not be complete without getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris! Actually, since I’ve already been several times, there really wasn’t a need for me to pay money to go up again and seriously, if my girls had not been interested in going up the Eiffel Tower, then I really wouldn’t have. But they were! They have been wanting to go up the Eiffel Tower, Paris since forever! T1 says it’s because it’s a tower and it’s so high up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so we went. We couldn’t get the online tickets that were perhaps cheaper as Mama is always very last minute with these sort of things. And then when we were there in Paris, since we lived beside  the Eiffel Tower, every time we passed by it, there were snaking queues to buy tickets. S.H.I.T.

Ding Dong Ding Dong, we finally picked a random day. Tuesday it was, for us to go up the Eiffel Tower and we decided to wake up early to go. Our early meant 10am. Heh. But bless the Lord, when we went, there was no queue. I kid you not. At 10am on a Tuesday morning early June, there was no queue. So happily and easily we bought our tickets and took the several lifts up. The process going up itself took 45 minutes. There was no queue buying the tickets downstairs but there was a slight queue upstairs after you went through the first lift! But all in all, still good time for going up the tower of romance in Paris. It was extremely windy not to mention chilly up there so of course, the girls loved it.

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It wasn’t super crowded atop the Eiffel Tower but man, it was WINDY!!! Just check out our hair out of place! We had neatly tied hair when we left our room just a 5 minute walk away.

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The necessary I love you kiss atop the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

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It’s just nice observing the view atop the tower of romance but just as nice walking around it and observing the tower itself from all areas of Paris. I took photos of it everywhere we went and caught a view of it. Paris……….the city of love. I am so in love with Paris. Just something about the air………the culture, the lifestyle, the love. After visiting quite a few many cities around the world, including all the major ones and some quaint ones, I still am in love with Paris. It must just be a sentimental love affair I have. And now I’ve gotten my whole family hooked on Paris too.

Je’taime……..

Malaysians at The Louvre

The Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world and of course, us Malaysians had to go there despite going with 2 kids. Actually, it was T1 who wanted to go, Good Lord. I’ve already been and was not looking forward to it at all because once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, yes? The reason she wanted to go in was to see the Mona Lisa real life after watching Mr Peabody and learning about the Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vincci. So you know what she did after we fought an hour with bloody China tourists who hogged the space directly in front of the Mona Lisa? On an aside, these China tourists are really a pain in the arse. A group of them kept taking pictures of themselves for half an hour and just would not budge. I finally spoke up and asked if I could have like ONE photo and then they could go back to their power spot after waiting for the dozen people before the China Chinese came to hog the Mona Lisa. Where was I? Oh, T1 walked the entire 180 degrees from left to right of the Mona Lisa to test the theory that she was watching you wherever you were and it turned out to be true. What an amazing piece of work. Her eyes really do follow you. Spooky shit.

So us Malaysians at the Louvre just had to do this too…..though my kids weren’t too enthusiastic and just wanted to run to the Tuilleries Playground. So inconsiderate!

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In order to please Mommy……

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After 10 shots of T2 attempting to please Mommy, we still couldn’t get it right. Mommy gave up. That’s what happens when you get a 4+ years old to do something detailed and specific :-p She just kept moving and moving and moving. Fail.

In applaud to my girls, they walked the entire Louvre. Not without whinging of course, but they did it. Their legs dropped off but found their way back miraculously when it was time to trampoline jump at the Tuilleries Garden. Kids.

Our Unschooling Programme (or lack of….)

Our unschooling programme doesn’t sound very impressive, does it? But man, the girls are having fun!!!!! I have all faith that once they go back to school, they would just pick up where they left off without a hitch. They are bright enough girls I think, to adjust back to a schedule and start studying again. I mean, if you have to do it, you just do it, right? It’s like me and work. I hate doing my expenses. If I could do anything else, I would do it. But there comes a point where I really HAVE to do it. So I do it. Simple. I always play by the 80-20 rule. 20% effort for an 80% result.

Yesterday, I brought the girls for a swim downstairs. After all, we pay RM1,000+ every month to the management so we might as well bloody make SOME use of the facilities. I swam as well and it was actually quite fun splashing about with just the two of them. I love spending time with them even though I know I moan about how much they drive me NUTS. Yes, I certainly love spending time with them. They make me laugh all the time!!!

Today, we had some guests over for a chess class. Whilst I did my work, the girls and their friend were screaming the house down. Oh. My. God. This went on for several hours whilst they played rainbow loom, hide and seek, dress up, be Queen Elsa, and God only knows what else and at one point I thought I was going to explode. Yet, a bigger part of me could feel how much fun they were having running about and chatting with each other that I put my hands to my ears instead every time I had to read something, because it is really quite difficult reading and digesting a contract when there is background chatter that is quite loud!

Tomorrow, T1 will attend a birthday party without me of a wonderful Mama’s son. This only tells me how fast T1 is growing. Man, she’s going to be going out to a party with someone else and I am not going to be there. That makes me nervous yet I know I have to let go…..I cannot keep them physically close to me forever but hell, I certainly wish. The bond my 2 girls and I have are very strong. If all goes well, my gut feel tells me that they would always come home after they reach adulthood and into their next phases of life. Well, it is certainly my job to work towards that goal.

So while T1 goes to her swim party tomorrow, T2 has requested that we go shopping. LOL!!! Well, I do need to go grab my Raya outfit….Heh. I love excuses.  It gets me everywhere I want to go. All is great at my end. I have a wonderful family and extended family, I really could ask for nothing more except for their fabulous health and safety till eternity. And please, make Mom well again. She looks like she’s 28kg right now. Thank you.

Here’s the 3 of us signing off. We are such a happy cool team that Dada would be MAD not to love us with his entire heart, body and soul. And that is probably why he works so hard. LOL!!! Working hard to keep his girls happy……

Europe with a 4 year old and a 9 year old

We just got back. Yes! After an entire month, 34 days to be exact. My GOD. I cannot believe we were away for a whole 34 days. The house is all dusty now and there’s loads of laundry to be done but heck, would I do it again? Hell, yes. Would I do it longer or shorter? Neither. 1 month was just nice. Enough for a fabulous, fabulous holiday where you truly got to enjoy at your own pace doing only all the things that you wanted to do.

We planned it for the longest time. Actually, not really planned but had the idea that we were going to go and of course, by the last week, we finally got down to more serious bookings but unfortunately, due to my bad, bad procrastination, we missed some stuff we wanted to do which only gives us an excuse to go back!!! Like real.

So the girls were super excited that they were finally going to see the Eiffel Tower, one of T1′s to do list checked. I’ve been up several times so no biggy for me but it was nice to see my two munchkins enjoy the cool breeze atop the tower of love. We walked tons!!!!! Like anywhere between 6-16km per day. T2 would end up being carried by about 4pm onwards daily but thank goodness for the walks because apart from walking, we ate tons too. Phew.

Although I resisted like mad to do any shopping, I totally failed in food intake devouring almost on a daily basis, fresh cream, cakes and chocolate – who can resist? Certainly not me when they are oh, so good over there. Maybe it was depression from not shopping that led to comfort food? *chuckle* Seriously though, I had told myself from the get go that I was going to try hard not to shop because I needed to save my money to start my trust fund for the Children of Myanmar. Simple.

We did some touristy things, not much, but spent most of our days at children’s playgrounds or spending our time with our loved ones abroad. It was just perfect. An absolutely perfect holiday. I love holidays with my family. Even if we have to return with loads of laundry and a dirty house. It was so damn worth it even though Europe cost two arms and two legs times two. Ouch. Oh, well. Money can always be earned back. And as my Money Penny friend says, it won’t take long at all. She is so smart that woman!

 

 

 

 

Homeschooling and Traveling

Homeschooling and traveling – OK, every time I tell people that my kids don’t go to school, they go into temporary paralysis, then get zapped by one of those electricity guns (whaddya call them again?), and I have to spend the next 15 minutes explaining why and how and what and who and where. I am sick of it!!!

Maybe I should just stop using the term homeschooling because people naturally assume (making an ass of themselves) that I spend my days teaching them stuff. Well, I DO spend my days teaching them stuff but not THAT kind of stuff. Then they will ask what syllabus we use etc and when I tell them zilch, they go into panic again and look at me as though I abuse my kids. Heh.

So listen up those of you who know me or know of me, not that it is anyone’s business, but this is what we do. T1 used to go to an International School and did the British syllabus up to Year 5. This year she is taking a year out to test the concept of not going to school. It gives her a chance to brush up on her weak subjects, her languages, and that is English, Mandarin, French and Bahasa. It gives her a chance to appreciate school (maybe? As I said, this is a test). I have bought the Year 6 text books (British syllabus, the very same books from her school), in the hope that she would study them on her own but this lasted all of 2 weeks. She just isn’t interested and would much rather go about reading her story books, playing with her sister or reading the iPad or performing activities with her friends or alone. T2 on the other hand, is only 4+ and she does not want to go to school because her sister is not at school.

Now that we are clear.

I do think that homeschooling and traveling go hand in hand extremely well. You don’t have to go far at all but traveling offers a whole world of learning and possibilities. We are currently on a one month travel expedition just to fulfil our personal homeschooling goals and already in our first week, we have learnt so much together. So many questions are asked, so many thoughts are processed, so many opportunities in confidence building and communication refining, so many firsts as the girls see things for the first time in Europe, how things work, how people work, how things are made, how they are put together, how cultures come together, food, currencies, economies, Government……man, I could go on.

Homeschooling and traveling, just because we do not follow a particular syllabus per se, it does not mean we aren’t learning. Our learning is incredibly rich if you asked me and no, I am not boasting, as I could easily be. You can do the same just by traveling to the next kampung out of Kuala Lumpur, which we intend to do too. Our homeschooling and traveling goals work two fold, local and abroad, for diversity and breadth. It is my own syllabus for my own children to become citizens of the world yet be proud of their Malaysian heritage but spread and live the Universal language of love. That is my ultimate goal. For them to love and be good, useful citizens, inspirational and hard working in doing good for the greater community.

Homeschooling and traveling, I cannot stress more how traveling truly opens up the mind. It is like being in a sales team. You go out to meet loads of different people, each with their different characteristics and challenges. Alternatively, you stay in the office and be stuck with your day in day out colleagues and on the odd occasion, the courier boy and the cleaning lady. Not that they are bad at all, in fact one could learn tons from the courier boy and the cleaning lady! Traveling just offers a bigger base, that’s all.

The Hubs and I have worked hard to earn this trip with our salaries but more importantly, our girls are the luckiest girls to have this opportunity to make new friends all over 4 countries – France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and of course, my 2nd home, the United Kingdom. Although really, I feel more at home in Paris!

Paris was a sweet success. We are now loving Switzerland. Just not the Swiss Francs.

Gratitude

How often are we thankful for everything that we have? I am one who is thankful every single day. I cannot ask for a better life and I owe it all to my Mother. Her sacrifices to keep me, to raise me, to teach me, have all come to fruition. I have been at peace for the last 17 years and I have so much. So much that I don’t even feel deserving. But yet, the blessings continue to shower upon me. Sometimes there are hiccups along the way, such as the time I was so alone during the pregnancy of T1, the time I tried to tell a beloved friend truth but she chose not to see (though I believe that one day, our stars would be aligned again. I just feel it in my bones. We both have this energy that can detect one another) and the time we found out Mom had cancer. But all in all it has been a wonderful ride.

I went out tonight with a big group of work people, colleagues, my amazing boss, clients, and had such a great time that it was almost a farewell on my behalf for my impending holiday which I know will end only too soon. I am SO EXCITED like a little girl with a new precious book. The entire night, my trip was the highlight, lots and lots of laughs, and I kept feeling…..fuck me, will somebody please pinch me? What have I done to deserve this???

I am an old soul. Even at a young age, my late Principal, Sam Paranjothy (bless him, he was a fantastic man, a brilliant headmaster), had already told my parents that I had maturity beyond my years. I was precocious. Everything I see in T1 right now. And I was exactly 10 then. Right now at the fucking old age of XX (yeah, people don’t believe me because I look ever so young), I feel like I’m approaching 10 years above my actual age. WTF. I savour the good, I relish in beauty, I bask in positivity. I have a path to follow and am guided by it strongly, never afraid to speak truth, even if I end up losing. Truth will always prevail. Honesty, humility, kindness. And I have no qualms about saying something is crap when I think it really is. My mother says it is my weakness for not being tactful and I admit, it has never been one of my strong points. Why lie when the cake you baked really sucks? Life is so simple, why complicate? If everyone were to speak truth, communication would be a tenfold bonus and there would be a lot less problems in this world.

I think of my team in Malaysia and I am thankful to them. All the hard work I have sweated was worth it. How I nurture my team is my next test till they get to a level where they can start growing their own wood too. I thank my boss for this amazing opportunity. I thank my girlfriend who introduced this opportunity to me in the first place. I thank my Mother for teaching me all I need to know. Her incredible wisdom has also taught many, many others who have entered our lives since I was a kid. Where SHE gets it from, I have no idea. I think she’s just naturally smart. Perhaps from her Doctor grandfather’s gene pool. I love my mother in a million more ways than you could ever imagine. She is my guiding light together with God. You really have to be spiritual in order to feel this kind of euphoria.

My boss was so happy for me to go away for a one month holiday and told me he was putting X amount of dollars into my bank account this week. He said I deserved it. That really meant so much to me. It made me feel that I would never leave him and want to go all out to grow the business. Sometimes, you just trust……even though the whole world tells you not to. But when the gut says to trust, you trust. My gut has never been wrong So far.

My cousins from Australia are down tomorrow on a surprise visit to see my Mom despite seeing her just a month or two ago. You know, these are the people you know who really care and give a shit. Most of the world is all talk but it is actions that truly speak louder than words. So many of you, my readers, have been ever so supportive of me, my life, my choices and now, even my mother. What did I do to deserve this really?

My only conclusion is that there are some very powerful prayers going on for me and so for you who pray for me, thank you. May my blessings be yours back tenfold.

Life is sweet indeed.

Half a day more before we depart, I am going through the 4 books about London and Paris the girls and I have read to plan a route following these books – Eloise in Paris, Madeline in London, et al…..it’s going to be magical. Who would have imagined my 2 lucky girls would get a one month holiday just to be with their parents full time? And although Harry Potter seems to be a thing of the past, T1 and T2 will still have orgasms visiting Harry Potter Land. I know it.

Thank you, God, for allowing all my projects to materialise. Every single thing I ask for, I get. When I die, it would be nice that I have touched every single heart that I’ve met in more ways than one. As my friend once said, kindness begets kindness, and when you do good, you really get back good. Believe it.

So grateful for everything and everyone. And for this, I continue to pray for all my friends and family and my Children of Myanmar who don’t have it so good. May each day bring them more blessings, a little at a time, but certainly in the right direction of everything that they so desire for themselves. My energy and love will get them through. Insya’allah.

Learning to Negotiate

This little minx of mine, T2, has always been known as a little chilli padi but in the last month, I’ve noticed her increasing ability to negotiate. Darn! Before she’s even five, I am convinced she has enough negotiation skills to laugh her way out of a boardroom full of obnoxious decision makers.

One small example since I remember it as it only happened today, we were browsing at the local toy store searching for gifts for our friends abroad and T2 suggests that she would like a Sylvanian Family toy. As I recall, we’d agreed that we were not buying anymore toys after I threw out a major portion of the girls’ toys. The monkey just would not let it rest and kept telling me why she deserved it. She eats her vegetables, she has nice poo, she does a lot of things independently, etc. I retort that she does not do everything that I want though so in order to get it, she had to EARN it.

What do I have to do?

You have to firstly STOP sleeping with me and start sleeping in your own bed and not come to my bed in the middle of the night.

OK! (Yea, right. We all know that is the biggest impulsive lie, so I continued….)

You also have to go home and put away all your rubbish tonight before Amah arrives tomorrow (read: cut outs of scrap paper, dolls everywhere, dolls clothes, jewellery, oh gosh, you name it, it’s everywhere!!)

OK!

But I am really serious, T2. No more sleeping with Mama. If you want me to do something for you, you have to do something for me.

OK, why not I still sleep with you but I will share my toy with you….

But I’m not interested in your toy!!! If you want me to do something for you, you have to do something for me that I want!! (On hindsight, this was completely wrong because hey, it’s really not tit for tat. Oh dear, what AM I teaching my child)

OK, Mama. I won’t sleep with you. (After long consideration and looking very solemn)

Are you sure?

But if I don’t sleep with you, then you have to do something for me! I want you to buy me all of the Sylvanian Family Toy……

NO!!! I am not buying you all the Sylvanian Family Toy!! You have to earn it slowly. In fact, even if I get it now, you are not allowed to touch it until you have cleared up all your rubbish AND prove to me that you will sleep in your own bed; then only will you get your toy. TO-MO-RROW.

(shock horror look, then tears) If I don’t get it today then I won’t sleep in my own bed!!

(starts pulling hair out) Look, we have to go. These are the rules. Take it or leave it.

So we buy the thing and go to the next shop. As soon as we arrived home, she amazingly started picking up her crap and I got her sister to help as a contributor to the mess. I had hidden the toy away hoping she’d forget about it but once the mess was cleared, she instantly went searching for her treasure. I told her tomorrow. She squealed that she’d cleared up her toys! I reminded her about our sleeping arrangement but she threw a tantrum saying she had already cleared her toys and if I didn’t give her her SF toy, she would NEVER go to school FOR-EVER!!

Just then the Hubs arrived home from work and I had to leave to go for a meeting. But first, I briefed him of our agreement and left a sulking little girl.

When I got home several hours later, T2 was asleep on my bed, MY bed, the bed that belongs to the Hubs and I, yes THAT master bed, holding on to her bloody Sylvanian Family toy.

o_O

What the hell happened?!!!!!

And all this time, T1 didn’t ask me for a single thing. Nought. Zero.

Lessons from My Mother

If any of you think you know more than your mother, you are wrong. No matter what age you are, your mother always knows something you don’t. Logically, all mothers are older and have lived a longer life, so naturally they have garnered more time. But even someone like me who’s had double the formal education my own mother ever had the chance of having and even if I have seen a lot, been to many places and known a lot of people in my short existence, my mother who has spent the last few years in bed and lacking in brain food, still knows more. And guess what? She knows the most valuable things. A walking encyclopaedia on life values, she is. I have the utmost, UTMOST respect for my Mother. I don’t know if she knows or feels it but heck, I really do.

Whenever I am with her on her bed, I just LOVE my time with her. Even when she cannot talk or even when she is asleep, her presence is magnanimous. For all the judgements she has received for her choices and actions, she is still the closest thing to God. I put her most critically on that pedestal of deservedness. And I am not being biased as you would naturally assume any daughter to be. If anything, I have rebelled against my mother for years. I have fought her arguments, disagreed on more occasions than one, and can list out her imperfections at any time. Yet, as an external objective party (let’s say hypothetically), she is an extremely tall woman. Not many people may know it, not many may want to admit it. But Tok-Tok for all his advanced education and experience, still comes home to her for his biggest decisions. I kid you not. It is because she is extremely strong in her head and equally strong in her heart, and strongest in her spirituality and soul. My mother is the silent orchestrator without thinking. She blows my mind every. single. time.

I can only imagine what a POWERFUL woman she would have become if offered any opportunity or just had some ambition. But no, she lies contentedly in her own skin and makes the world move without doing much. Now how does a woman do that? She reminds me, one part of her, of that Daniel Day Lewis Michelle Pfeiffer movie, The Age of Innocence. Knowing so much but not needing to say much. Know what I mean?

Just last night, on our regular bed space, we were discussing matters of the heart, and again, this incredible woman taught me lessons. Huge lessons. I am so inspired by her. She is not only damn fucking smart (seriously, just check out her bald forehead why don’t you? Please laugh!), she has the biggest heart I’ve ever known. And I’ve seen lots of big hearts. I’ve also met some very clever people. Where does she get it from? Genetics skipped a few generations? Her grandfather was a famous Doctor in Penang, a surgeon. If I were to die half the woman she is, I’d be plenty proud. I do not know yet how to express the details of her magical light but I am just intensely proud to be her daughter. God did a goodie on me to put us both together. Now I think this goodness has skipped a generation and has passed on some to T1. I see many similarities already as T1 displays characteristics neither the Hubs nor I have. It is directly from Nana, her grandmother, my Mom.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you always.

Cleaning and De-cluttering

I know. I know. I talk about this every single year but hey, it is REALLY happening now. Why? Because we have no more help. Yay! OK, it took some getting used to but I’m really enjoying things much more. We have given away 70% of our toys, 20% of our books, and 50% of our clothes and shoes. Still more to come but I just haven’t had enough time to go through everything. Concurrently, we are also re-organising our books, slowly but surely. If you visit now, there are books on the floor, in trolleys, in boxes, everywhere and you’d wonder if you were in earthquake library. It’s quite embarrassing actually but c’est la vie.

If there was one thing that isn’t going well, it is my weight loss. It’s just so hard when you are constantly stressed out day in-day out with kids tugging at your heart strings all the time, million and one things to accomplish, be the maid, chef, driver, and still earn an income. Plus so many people call me or write to me for answers and I just do not have the time to respond. For this, I apologise. I will try putting up an FAQ one fine day. As it is, I’ve already paid for my Illustrator lessons and not even had time to do my illustrator homework. Terrible. C’est terrible!!

I unwind with Facebook. But even then, it gets a bit meh after awhile so I move on to Pinterest or read the news or review the stock market, you know, just to unwind. People don’t believe me that I can get off Facebook. *smiles* People don’t know me very well. I do not have any addictions except to sugar. True story.

The world is crazy around me. People, the majority still don’t get it. SO few do. I guess I should be blessed that I actually know the few who do. Life isn’t meant to be complicated so do not complicate things. Live your best life, do your best, and do good to all around you, especially to those who matter. Simple.

Excited to announce that T2 can finally read at 4.5 years old after only TWO lessons of Jollyphonics with an excellent English tutor called Marcia Wong. So blessed. We are so blessed. I have always, always wanted the girls to excel in English, our mother tongue, the international language of the world and now they can. Thank you, Marcia, and thank you, Melissa! for introducing the awesome Marcia to our family. I am praying that my kids will grow with her.

T1 really misses school but she’s been doing a lot of cooking and cleaning and learning a whole load of other skills. Her languages are great and oh, let me boast, through some weird fluke, she was given a Year 7 SAT paper to do for Math and she scored 100%. I have no idea what a Year 7 Math paper involves nor do I care but it sounds big since my T1, she’s just 9, still a child, but oh, such an incredibly wise and mature child she is. She helps me with MY problems.

I’ve been coaxing T2 to start ballet but she’s resisting and insisting that she does. not. want. to go to any school. She only wants Mama. Sigh…….

We will be off soon for a long holiday and I can not wait. I just want to spend ALL that time with my two smellies and laugh crazily, eat good food, and walk lots in wonderment and amazement in seeing the world. Please pray for me that we will make it back in one great piece.

Overwhelmed and Exhausted

People always ask me, “Actually, why are you always exhausted? What do you do exactly? Ever since I knew you, you are always overwhelmed…”

Ha.Ha.Ha.

If only they could wear my shoes.

I need not justify my busy-ness to anyone and I choose to delve in whatever I choose to delve in and yes, it does stretch me to my absolute limits. In fact, this morning, I was so bloody on edge that I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry my eyeballs out because I just felt the strain and the stress that I was being pulled in all directions. Work itself has a million issues to be resolved yet it is the least of my problems. It’s just a matter of going through the to do list one by one since I have help to do that, I just have to make sure that they do it right. But on top of work, heck, there is also a million and one things to do. I just need a few of me, really.

That Hotel room is calling out to me.

Buying Jewellery

Whenever I feel like shopping, the first thing I’d want to go out to buy is clothes and shoes or bags, never jewellery. Why? Because I’m just not that into jewellery! Seriously, I know it’s better value for money and everything but I just don’t care for it, not even those diamond Cartier necklaces. Just not my style. I do like looking at jewellery such as that from www.joyjewelers.com/ but even if I had them, I’d never wear them. It’d be a waste on me. Better of buying me books.

Homeschooling in Malaysia – March 2014

Gosh. It is our 3rd month Homeschooling in Malaysia – March 2014 already!!!

Honestly, I am becoming increasingly slack and dis-bothered about homeschooling my kids. I am too busy with work and house work and they are too busy with playing. The little one is a TV and iPad addict although we are restrictive but she cannot yet read AT ALL and she does not like to draw much, so all she does all day is play and talk to herself; and then when I allow her some TV and iPad time, she’s like super happy.

T1, on the other hand, is a lazy ass. Such a big lazy ass. Exactly like her Mama. Le sigh………Homeschooling in Malaysia let alone anywhere in the world is not easy if you are a full time working Mom. But we still manage because we do not have a choice. It is more Unschooling that we do rather than Homeschooling. Because apart from her schedule language classes each week, T1 does fuck all when it comes to her Academic work to do with her school British syllabus.

For the month of March, T1 added into her book of experiences, the following tasks below. It is a shame that I took photos of each of her activities below but now just don’t have the time to resize those images let alone find them in my library of photos, so we will just have to do without.

1. Made her own Peppermint Candy. Yes, really! You know peppermint flavoured candy? Such as those cane sticks at Christmas, or just balls from Australia? T1 made shapeless peppermint candy and it was very nice!!! It is literally a mixture of icing sugar and peppermint flavouring (yuck) and I’m not sure what else as I was not involved but I know it tasted good. Melted in your mouth with a minty taste.

2. Started doing housework, like for real. She makes her bed, washes all the dishes, chops onions and garlic, grates carrots and cheese, washes and peels vegetables, bakes and watches the fire whilst I’m cooking, boils rice not in a rice cooker (because we do not have one) but on the stove, babysits her sister really well by making her home made play doh, entertains her by making up games for her to play that do not involve toys, gets really creative when I need total silence and drags her sister away from me.

3. T1 learnt how to open a kuaci with lots of practice and some other seeds as well. You just have to do it in order to know how. She also learnt how to open mata kucing (longan) in Kota Bharu and was my official longan opener. How nice it is to eat a bunch of longan all ready and peeled for you, and she enjoyed it too. LOL.

4. We visited the Bank Negara Museum at the top of the hill (not the old Bank Negara concrete building). This is a spanking new modern building where part of all our tax money has gone (assumingly), it is a beautiful building and a great space to spend the day at with children. There is an outdoor run around space that is great for a picnic for a group of kids to play hide and seek. The money museum was fun and educational and yes, I would like to go back to actually learn more instead of watching over kids!

5. She’s grown responsible in taking care of her own plants. She’s got a choy sum plant and a basil plant but her aubergine plant died through no fault of hers. She’s been watering them daily. The joy in eating her own organic food is happiness indeed.

6. She designed her own board game in January but I forgot to write it down.

Actually all these memories are documented in the pictures and there is more to March but right now, Mommy is extremely stressed out working and planning for a long holiday, so adios, folks! Sorry for the abruptness but I really have to go! It is apparent that I can no longer keep up with sharing Homeschooling with T1 every month. Sigh.

G-Shock Watch

When I was younger, I’d always wanted a G-shock, a pink one at that because they were tough watches I could just bang around. Never got one. At 5 or 6, T1 wanted a G-shock watch. A green one. Her Uncle Ben went all around town searching for his favourite niece’s G-shock watch. They were all so ugly!!! But finally he found one and she’s been wearing one ever since. I still think it’s ugly but she loves it.

Talking about Others

Where does one draw the line between the good and the bad when it comes to talking about others? For as long as I can remember as a kid, I was already talked about. Why? Because my mother used to be one of the most sexy Moms at the local club. She was the MILF – Mother I’d Love to Fuck. Not something I’d personally be proud of but on the contrary, I am extremely proud of my Mother for a gazillion of reasons, just that being sexy isn’t one of them. I hold no importance on someone being sexy, that’s all. So yeah, people would talk, even those my age. They’d say all sorts of nasty things and it would hurt but already at that very young age, my mother had taught me that people will always talk. It is either that you are interesting or that they are just plain jealous or filled with envy. Sometimes people talk because their lives are just empty. There is enough time to talk about how the fish ball lady dyed her hair and got it all wrong, and looks like a canary dumped into a washing machine. Because seriously, if your lives were busy and fulfilled, you wouldn’t even have time to let alone think about something so derogatory. But it’s OK. It’s OK to talk about the fish ball lady if it makes your life more enlightened and fun. Who is to judge?

But what I really do not condone is when people talk about others but become different in front of them. I know people talk about me but I also respect the ones who tell it to me in my face. There are some of my friends who do that and I truly respect them. It does not matter really what others say of me or think of me because I am secure in my own skin. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. People fail to realise that things always come back to me. And one thing I’ve learnt from my Mom is to shut up and be smart. So even if I knew a group of people who talked about me, I wouldn’t have to say anything if unnecessary. I am happy to be a part of their entertainment. Not everyone can do that though. In fact, probably a large part of society would feel begrudged if they realised they were part of someone else’s entertainment. Hopefully they learn sooner than later that it is actually OK to be talked about.

It takes all sorts of people to make up the world. Respect that. The world would be so boring otherwise without the gossip mongers around who spend their days wondering how you make your money, or how you raise a genius, or if your husband is having an affair, or judge how you cheat your friends, or Gosh! There is just so much to talk about!!!

When I was young, another lesson I learnt from an uncle was if you wanted to open your mouth to talk, first talk about ideas, because they are the most useful in changing the world for better. If you didn’t have any ideas, then talk about the events, facts about places you’ve been to, things you’ve done and lastly, if your brain really didn’t have the capacity for the former, then talk about people if you must. But better if they are good things or nothing at all. Have you ever heard the saying, if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything? Why go around spreading negativity?

Righteous much? We all have options on how we want to live our lives. If we want to continue it laughing and talking about others, it is our prerogative. Why ever not? After all, there is only one person at the end of the day that we need to answer to and that is God.

Life without a maid

Life without a maid has been good and bad. At first, we went through sadness, then shock, then denial and numbness, then we became pro-active and now, we’re coping. Yeah…..although the home looks akin to a land fill from Cambodia, the kids are still alive and we have no cockroaches or creepy crawlies in sight yet. And although the mess is so bad that you would imagine a snake living under all that clutter, we are still surviving. I am slowly but surely getting rid of STUFF. First out, the toys…..oh, yes. I am emotionless when it comes to toys. We keep the doll house and the Lego and some dollies and cooking for T2′s sake but beyond that, I hold no sentiments over their play things. My true calling believes that children do not need toys at all. AT ALL. Sorry, ToysRus and Hamley’s. I am getting rid of all our toys and I am not buying new toys. NO. NO MORE.

I will buy books but not toys. I may buy jigsaw puzzles but not toys. I may buy board games. You get the drift. Heck, for the Unschooling in T1, she’s designed her own board game, so seriously do you think she would have had the initiative to do that had she been at school and had lots of readily available entertainment on hand? I don’t think so.

My day now consists of waking up at 7am, I do some reading for half an hour till the entire household wakes then make breakfast. Whilst at breakfast, I already start work by going through my work emails and responding via phone as necessary. After breakfast, wash up, house chores for an hour then exercise. Before I can barely squeeze much work in, I’m due to prepare lunch. I work and multi-task wherever I can, whilst waiting for pasta to boil, whilst in the toilet, whilst the kids are finishing up their lunch…..After lunch wash up is when I really get a chance to work proper without interruption. Kids then get up to their own play agendas and I work till 5pm when I start thinking about dinner. Whilst I cook, they have their showers and after shower, it’s dinner time. Whilst they eat, I am still working and I work right through till 8pm when I start chasing them to brush their teeth. The Hubs will roll in about 9-10pm and does the dinner dishes after his solo dinner. He also puts the kids to bed after his shower if I am not feeling up to it. It is a 30 minute job which can potentially turn out to be a 2 hour nightmare. Thus I hate bedtime with kids. I wish there just was a remote control OFF button so at 8pm every night, I could just go BEEP!!! And silence will envelope my being…….

No such luck.

So I continue with every day life working right through to midnight or beyond. Usually till 2am, my standard time, he time that I can no longer stay awake. Some days I work less and catch up with laundry or whatever it is that requires catching up on. I have lowered my cleanliness standards much but what choice do I have. Until we decide what exactly it is we want, I will continue to be the maid. Plus we are off on holiday soon so not much point in starting a new routine only to be broken.

But you know what? I love life without a maid. Somehow it’s liberating. I know exactly where stuff is now. I know exactly what I have and I know when food is starting to run out and exactly what I need to buy. No wastage. Zero. I’ll bet our food and water bill will see a dip real soon. That surely must be good news. The kids are also learning to be responsible. T2 has started carrying her crockery into the kitchen after she’s done. Tonight was funny because she carried a bowl of unfinished MISO soup to the kitchen but half way, Daddy appeared and she forgot she was carrying the bowl of soup and jumped up in excitement.

SPLASH!! All over herself……

She started bawling her eyeballs out because she is not one to like being dirty. There was also fear I assume that Daddy might yell at her for doing something so silly but nay, how could he? He would never do that. It was an accident and no matter how much we tried convincing her that it was just an accident and that we still loved her heaps, she continued to cry……

Until I offered her some chocolate mint cupcakes.

Children’s Book Review: Maxilla by Lianne Ong

Children’s Book Review: Maxilla by Lianne Ong

I am honoured to be doing the book reviews of some local children’s authors as I myself wanted to become a children’s book author not too long ago. Somehow, that still hasn’t happened and suddenly, so many Asian women have now done it. Very proud of them. They have my full support.

Children’s Book Review: Maxilla by Lianne Ong

I asked my 9 year old to read Maxilla by Lianne Ong then asked her what she thought about it. She said it was a very good book if a child was interested in Science. Interesting review from a kid :-)

So what if the child is not interested in Science? I asked…..

Then it’s still an interesting book, just that one would be even more interested in it should one be passionate about Science.

OK, daughter.

What do I myself have to say about Maxilla, the book?

I think it’s a lovely book that is thoughtfully written and explores these factors:

1. The metamorphosis of a butterfly

2. To love and to let go

3. Parenting styles

4. Keeping pets

5. Exploring the details in writing style

6. Beautiful illustrations that go so well with the details

7. The two sides to a story

Children’s Book Review: Maxilla by Lianne Ong

Maxilla is the story of a boy who finds a caterpillar and brings it home as a pet. As the days go by, he grows to love his pet more and more as he cares for it and learns all there is to learn about it. But one day, he learns that he has to release his pet in order for it to survive. His mom gently suggests the same but the ache in his heart to let his pet go is tragic.

What I liked about the end of the book was the voice of Maxilla, the caterpillar. His side of the story. However, I would have preferred it if he had made reference to his once upon a time owner.

It is something to ponder how you would deal with your child when the day comes when he has to deal with such pain. My own daughter had been there at the tender age of 3. She was upset because her good friend had dumped her for another. It took her days, weeks even, to start seeing rainbows and stars again. These days at 9 should she get dumped by a friend, she’s able to take it more in stride. Everything happens for a reason and it is much better to have loved and lost than to not loved at all.

In terms of how we approach our children as parents, Maxilla’s owner’s mother could have very abruptly instructed him to let the caterpillar go without explanation. Just do as I say or……..which is still a norm in many Asian households, believe it or not. Or worse, she could have simply taken it away herself or killed it! Or she could have told him a lie? So many ways to skin a cat, really, so which approach is best?

Children of pets are statistically known to become more responsible adults from the sheer practice of caring for a livelihood. That doesn’t go to say that children who do not have pets don’t care. Yet, having a pet really does raise the consciousness of a child in being responsible for another life. Some children feel more, some less; nevertheless, a worthy experience to own a pet at some point of a child’s life. Knowing my T2, she’d probably just kill the pet! *sigh* T1, on the other hand, has done extremely well in caring for a fish that lived an entire year whilst her classmates’ fish all dies within the month or two.

As I am a writer (a self-proclaimed one, no doubt), I am critical when I read with my mind analytically dissecting a piece of work in all directions. Sometimes I wish I could just read blindly but I cannot. It has been ingrained and trained, my brain, to analyse every possibility, every thought, every emotion, every outcome. Shish. The good thing about it is I make a good business strategist and for that, can be in demand *wink*.

As a designer, I am also graphically aware of what works and what doesn’t so yes, Maxilla’s illustrations are gentle and feathery, exhibiting the gentleness and calmness of the story as opposed to let’s say, strong, bold colours as in Maisy the Mouse’s bright personality. Both work and both apt in their relevant context, so good job Maxilla’s illustrator. I love the details in the colouring, so much patience and love. LOVE!!!

There are always two sides to a story and this is what the human race fail at most. Many people equate 1 + 1 = 2 when the reality of the world actually is much more abstract. 1+1= 3-1 or 10/5 or 2×1 or you get the drift. Just because someone said something or did something does not mean he ________________*fill in the blanks*. There are so many possibilities. Assume and you make an ass of yourself.

Children’s Book Review: Maxilla by Lianne Ong

So yes, 7 pointers of discussion within a children’s storybook makes it a loaded book and I wonder if that was the author’s intention. Let’s start discussing then!

T1′s HomeSchooling journey in February

To be quite honest, T1′s homeschooling journey in February has dwindled from homeschooling to unschooling to just pissing about at home. I’m not sure if that is positive or not. Seriously, if you choose to homeschool your child, you really need to be disciplined enough to monitor their progress and as for me, well, I’m just too busy and cannot be bothered. Do my kids really need to be learning from books all the time? Are they learning anything from their full days of play?

It’s hard being a parent, I tell ya!

If you want to read about our Homeschooling Journey in January, this is how we first started.

Although we started with good intentions, a solid timetable filled with serious stuff just to keep on track and keep up with the school curriculum, all that has gone pissing out the window. T1 spent all of February not following the timetable at all and falling far, far behind academically from her school peers in terms of pages in the text book. The only serious stuff she does these days are attending her language classes and doing some Maths at least half the week. Well almost.  I insist. Especially since she detests Math though I’m not sure why. It’s not like she does too bad in it at all with an A for the last 4-5 years of her schooling life.

For T1′s homeschooling journey in February, she performed the following tasks:-

1. Attended a Namaste Market hosted by Sun Yoga KL where kids came together to barter their goods. T1 did not prepare for it at all so at the very last minute, she brought a stack of Lego discount cards that she’d been collecting from old milk cartons for ages to trade. I was so embarrassed because I was thinking who the heck would want these freebies and was annoyed at her for not putting any effort at all into the activity. But heck, the girl shocked me by coming home with a big stash of stuff! Books, jewellery, gadgets, a plant! She even managed to get some stuff for her sister! Hello Kitty packet tissues!! I was amazed and it taught me that truly, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It was a great experience for her to witness that first hand but now at the 2nd Namaste Market, she is still intending to bring Lego discount tickets! Gosh. I told her she would not get 2nd time lucky.

2. We attended 2 Chinese New Year Open Houses within a day and got into the CNY spirit with Ang Pows and praying to the Gods. Enjoyed her time with my in-laws staying over here in KL.

3. She tested her fingers at planting herbs and vegetables but we are yet to decide if her fingers are green or not. She sprouted some wheat grass successfully all in our tummies now. She killed her aubergine plant by over-watering it. She is now caring for a basil plant and has a host of new pots for new plant projects. Amah’s giant Choy Sum seeds are doing well so far at 3 inches tall *silently praying that it becomes a success so we can have organic home grown veg in our tummies!*

4. She went for a walk in the garden with an agriculturist (my Dad!) and learnt every single plant outdoors in our garden below. They plucked some leaves and brought them home to be viewed under the microscope. Dammit, my girl now knows way more about plants than me. She can even name some of the plants, such as Frangipani without the flowers. First hand lesson from the pro, how blessed indeed.

5. She attended her first History Co-op with a group of fellow homeschoolers and had a ball of a time playing with the boys. She learnt how to twirl a light sabre and learnt how to fight with one – the proper way. Fuah!!! Real proud of my girl, I am.

6. We made a visit to the National Museum with the History Co-op! Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I stepped in the museum and it must’ve been something like more than 20 years ago but because of T1, we got off our asses and went. Well, I’m pretty glad we did because although I expected cobwebs, there were actually some interesting exhibits to observe. The kids ran around, coloured on the floor, chit-chatted with each other, I don’t know how much Malaysian History actually went into their heads but……. …when questioned, T1 did learn something from the museum and that was Malaysian Independence. She’d watched the video of Malaya getting independence.

7. From that museum visit, the kids were made to draw out their visit, how they felt, what they saw, what they thought, etc. In order to be different, T1 built a Lego piece and made a soldiers in war model. She is to present her work at the next co-op meeting.

8. She worked 9 hours helping Aunty Jacq (founder of Sun Yoga) prepare for 400 bottles of pure organic juice for a juice fast. She scraped pumpkin seeds off pumpkin shells, juiced fresh celery, plucked Moringa from their stems, etc. Proud of my girl. She now knows the entire mechanics that goes behind the preparatory works of a juice fast.

9. She read a lot of story books last month since she didn’t do much studying……..Mommy was too busy to kick her ass. Her reading is very good but her writing is not so good. Sigh.

10. She practised how to draw the African and Australian map by heart following on from her first month’s goal to place animals and plants on every continent, which by the way, has not happened yet. Just saying….

11. She went on several playdates and had tons of fun as expected.

12. She baked her first successful butter cake under the guidance of a great friend of mine who bakes THE BEST butter cakes in the whole wide world. You will be remembered for life, Ipoh girl.

I really cannot remember what else she has done over the last month and I cannot find her diary (Ssshhhh…..) so that about sums up T1′s homeschooling journey in February for now. I myself have been very busy planning and researching for our educational trip further along the year. I am also leaving KL for a week this week for work. It has been really busy and I keep coming back to my centre asking myself why I have not slowed down. But I have. It has slowed down by 500 times!!! It’s just that I was even way more crazy busy before!!! I’m actually real good now. Busy but good busy…..which is always better than having nothing to do. Onwards to March, folks!

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